A previously undescribed caulimo-like virus was identified in the hybrid tobacco species , and was named tobacco vein clearing virus (TVCV) after the symptoms associated with its occurrence in this plant. The virions of TVCV are 50 nm in diameter and are composed of a 45 kDa capsid protein and a 7767 bp dsDNA genome. Each strand of the genome is interrupted by a site-specific discontinuity. In genome sequence and arrangement of ORFs TVCV was most similar to cassava vein mosaic virus, indicating that TVCV is a pararetrovirus. No serological relationship was detected between TVCV and any other caulimoviruses, including petunia vein clearing virus, which has similar biological properties. In . TVCV was seed-transmitted to 100% of progeny plants, but was not transmitted by mechanical inoculation, grafting or to any of seven other spp. Genomic DNA of TVCV hybridized to genomic DNA of . and of . , its male parent, but not to genomic DNA of . , the female parent. TVCV has 78% sequence identity with pararetrovirus-like sequences that are present in high copy number in the . genome, and TVCV genomic DNA hybridized to genomic DNA of . and . . These observations suggest that the episomal form of TVCV may arise from integrated pararetroviral elements present in . , that these integrants were inherited from the male parent . , and that these elements are related but not identical to pararetroviral elements occurring in other spp.


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